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How might my actions affect my baby during the 1st trimester of pregnancy?

Dr. Deborah Raines, MSN
Nursing Specialist

 

At four weeks the pregnancy is in a critical period of cellular replication and differentiation. The embryo and placenta are developing and establishing the pregnancy within the uterine sac. Therefore actions of the woman can have a significant impact on the establishment of the pregnancy and early phases of embryo development. Avoiding the ingestion of potentially hazardous substances such as alcohol, raw foods, drugs - including prescription and over the counter drugs and exposure to potential teratogens such as x-rays, radiation, high body temperature or toxic fumes are all important actions if a woman suspects she might be pregnant.

In general, you should focus on an overall healthy lifestyle. Avoid substances like alcohol and tobacco, since these may harm your developing baby. Restrict caffeine to no more than 200 mg, or one 12-oz cup of coffee per day. Certain medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, may affect your baby, so talk to your doctor about whether you should stop taking any medications. Your diet may also affect your baby, so eat a diet full of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. Also, make sure you're getting the proper vitamins—especially calcium, iron, and folic acid—through your food and vitamin supplements. You should get plenty of exercise so that you and your baby stay healthy. If you have questions about how a particular activity may affect your baby during the 1st trimester, talk to your doctor.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.